Cheltenham was packed to the rafters on St Patrick’s Thursday (Andrew Matthews/PA)Defi destroyer

Defi Du Seuil got the better of old rival Lostintranslation
Defi Du Seuil got the better of old rival Lostintranslation (Paul Harding/PA)

Defi Du Seuil may have been lost in the wilderness last season – but the ultra game six-year-old continued his resurgence since being stepped up to two and a half miles over fences as he claimed his fifth Grade One success in the JLT Novices’ Chase.

Having been the flagship horse for trainer Philip Hobbs during the 2016/17 campaign, the JP McManus-owned gelding is now back in a lofty position after joining an elite group of horses to win over two separate distances at the meeting when adding to his 2017 Triumph Hurdle victory. The Ryanair Chase will offer the chance of a third success next March.

Perfect combination

Bryony Frost and Frodon have become a famous double act
Bryony Frost and Frodon have become a famous double act (Nigel French/PA)

Bryony Frost and Frodon have formed a formidable partnership and the pair took their relationship to new heights IN successfully answering the biggest question asked of them so far with victory in the Ryanair Chase.

Despite being headed over the last, the battle-hardened seven-year-old, who finished fifth in the race 12 months ago, was not to be denied at a fifth win at his favourite track after battling back under Frost much to the delight of many of those packed in the stands. It could get even better next year, as Frodon could be a Gold Cup contender.

Festival of dreams

Proud owner Andrew Gemmell with Stayers' hero Paisley Park
Proud owner Andrew Gemmell with Stayers’ hero Paisley Park (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Plenty of dreams have been made at the Festival over the years and owner Andrew Gemmell had his life long-ambition come true after Paisley Park cemented status as the new star of the three-mile hurdling division with victory in the Sun Racing Stayers’ Hurdle.

Gemmell – registered blind from birth – devised a plan at the start of the season culminating in having a tilt at the Grade One prize with the improving Emma Lavelle-trained seven-year-old, and he did not disappoint when filling in the final piece of the jigsaw on the biggest stage of them all. It is going to take a good one to stop him.

Here come the girls

It's a big thumbs up from Bryony Frost
It’s a big thumbs up from Bryony Frost (Nigel French/PA)

It may have officially been Ladies’ Day at the track on Wednesday, but it should have been moved back 24 hours given the way results turned out.

After Bryony Frost claimed the Ryanair Chase aboard Frodon, it was then the turn of trainer Emma Lavelle to taste victory with Paisley Park in the Stayers’.

Lizzie Kelly got in on the act when celebrating her second Festival winner with a power-packed ride aboard Siruh Du Lac in the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate.

Williams keeps up fine Festival record

Lizzie Kelly with trainer Nick Williams
Lizzie Kelly with trainer Nick Williams (Nigel French/PA)

Unheralded trainer Nick Williams ensured he enjoyed a winner at the Festival for the third year in succession after Siruh Du Lac obliged.

Having sent out Flying Tiger to win the 2017 Fred Winter Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, and Coo Star Sivola to glory in last year’s Ultima Handicap Chase, Williams worked his magic again as the six-year-old completed a four-timer for the season in the Grade Three prize.